Harvard is Joseph Gordon-Loving It. The actor (real last name Gordon-Levitt) who made a name for himself over six seasons on “3rd Rock from the Sun” and starred in films like “10 Things I Hate About You” and the upcoming “Snowden,” visited campus today in another important role: as Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 50th Man of the Year.
No amount of snow or slush could thwart his fête, as it nearly did for 2013’s honoree Kiefer Sutherland. To commemorate five decades of Hasty men — beginning with the first Man of the Year, Bob Hope, in 1967, Gordon-Levitt participated in a special outdoor event at the Hasty Pudding Theatricals headquarters.
Gordon-Levitt — or Joe, as he’s known — first dropped by headquarters earlier this afternoon for a tour and a history lesson. Guides Dan Milaschewski ’17 and Betty Lema ’17 explained that the club, founded in 1795, was initially centered on pudding.
“So it’s not originally a theater thing?” Gordon-Levitt wondered.
That came later, Milaschewski and Lema clarified.
In its new home at the site of the original House of Blues, the Hasty Pudding digs are a curiosity museum of its wacky antics and alumni — including, most notably, B.J. Novak and writers for Mindy Kaling’s “The Mindy Project.”
“More and more, we’re seeing a lot of people come out of the Pudding and doing things in Hollywood,” said Lema.
Gordon-Levitt is doing things outside of Hollywood, too. In 2011, he published “The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories,” the first of three volumes he edited from more than 8,500 submissions to his open-collaborative company hitRECord, which has also produced music, films, and the Emmy Award-winning series “Hit Record on TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.”
Curious and friendly, Gordon-Levitt seemed genuinely interested in Hasty Pudding’s evolution from a politics- and friendship-oriented society to a theatrical enterprise, one that often tests the boundaries of comedy and satire with its outlandish annual productions.